Bobby Laine and The Confederates (Cheadle Hulme)

Thanks to James Hollingworth for some great pictures

Line Up

  • Bob Theobald (Laine) - Vocals
  • Jimmy Hollingworth - Lead
  • Duncan Clubb - Bass
  • Brian Higham - Rhythm and vocals
  • Alan Forbes - Drums
  • Alan Jackson - Bass, replaced Duncan

Three of the original members, Bob Theobald, Jim Hollingworth and Alan Forbes were originally members of the Vortex Five.

"This band was well established before I joined them, and a good band they were.

Jimmy was a very good guitarist & Duncan a great bass player with a style of his own. Alan was at that time way ahead of any drummer around and always did a great drum solo.

Litte bit of irony here, Alan replaced Mike Foord in "The Harbour Lights" some years later when Mike left to pursue his career.

Bob was a good singer and a nice guy but we did'nt see eye to eye, he used to always tell me I was nicking his harmony's - probably true. 

The last gig I did with them was at the Royal Oak Alderly Edge. That was the night I fell out with the manager Nick Ireland.

The gig was a disaster. There had been no advertising that the band was appearing there so no-one turned up. The band shares no blame what so ever for what happend that night but the upshot was I left.

Two weeks later I was back at the same gig with a friend of mine - just the two of us. I thought it only fair to the landlady, Ruth Eccersall that we try and put things right. It was well advertised and it went down a bomb. That was the start of the "HARBOUR LIGHTS"

Brian Higham

It was great to see some old pictures of my first really good group and the story from Brian Higham.

I remember meeting Duncan Clubb on his final gig with the group at Cheadle Womens' Institute - yes, they did have us knitting and making jam on the night!

I feel that Brian got the name Alan Gregory wrong, however, as I came in straight after Duncan left to go on to his studies and the sweet face in the photo surely looks like mine! (*its been changed Alan, apologies)

My second gig with the group was at the Cavern in Liverpool and I had to pick up some parts for my bass from Paul Young's house in Wythenshawe where we both lived. Paul had them chrome plated at his works: he later went pro and achieved great things with Sad Cafe. 

Alan Jackson

Unless I'm very much mistaken Jim Hollingworth used to work for the C.W.S. in Balloon Street in the early sixties as I myself did. A gang of us used to attend St. Johns College opposite Granada Studios on a day release scheme from work.

Jim sometimes brought his guitar with him and used to do a bit of pickin' at break time. I would accompany him on percussion by tapping out a rhythm on the desk top.

Although I never saw him perform on stage I believe the band were pretty good. I even wrote a couple of songs for him but I don't know if he used them in his set. I doubt it.

Happy memories.

Tony Dixon

It was great reading Bobby Laine's recent post and the new pic of Alan Forbes (click here to read). I am glad that Bobby is still performing in Lakeland.

'The Confederates' had a problem with two Alans in the group. Mr. Forbes had a likeness to a Mr. Connery and so was nicknamed 'Sean' for a laugh and, as we were driving through Alderley Edge past the de Trafford Arms I was baptised 'de Trafford' and we thought that 'Nigel' was posher than 'Alan'.

'The Bobbins' were formed when Jim and Alan Forbes joined the 'Bo-Weevils'. The group members in the photo are (left to right) Pete Pattenden (drums), Bob, two of my friends from Wythenshawe Brian Wrightson (lead guitar, ex-'James Bond & The Premiums), Pete Dudley (rhythm guitar, ex-'The J.B.4) and myself on bass guitar. 

We had a short but active career before packing it in due to a family problem: later the 'Bo-Weevils' also folded; Bob and Jim forming the 'Devon Brothers', who were brilliant, I joined 'The Dynachords and Alan Forbes reunited with Brian Higham to join the 'Harbour Lites'. 

I saw Alan on a number of times at a cricket club in Burnage for which I played in the late 80's: another member was a young Max Beesley, the actor. Alan managed a football team and attended league meetings there. He had no interest in music then nor wished to discuss his time playing in the groups way back in the 60's.

Alan Jackson - 29/3/10

Wow, what an unexpected surprise to be reminded of those great times and also sadness to read on a linked site of the passing of my long lost friend and fellow drummer Alan Forbes. Not only did Alan and I share a passion for drums but he was also best man at my wedding in 1978. If anybody can put me in touch with his widow Nicola I would be very grateful. 

As for me, I am still playing drums but as a hobby, playing Roland at present unlike the Rogers in the old photographs. I now live overseas for much of the time and still remember with affection the good times with the "Harbour Lights", "The Bobbins" and the 'Mike Shaw Six"at Bredbury Hall Believe it or not I can even remember my first band the "Ale House Eight", we laid claim to be the jazz band of Stockport Grammer and were led by a trumpeter called Peter Spink. Great times, thank you so much for keeping the "music" alive.

Peter Pattenden - 16/5/10

I used to travel round with the lads. Met Alan at school. Tim was at the same school and he adapted to guitar from learning violin. Saw him some years later when he was running a car repair workshop in Stockport. Last time I saw Jim we were in the CID office at Didsbury Police Station. He was the CID clerk and I was on temporary attachment. He used to gig at the Hough End Police Club, at weekends.

I got to know the group as Alan (Forbes) and I worked in a credit betting office holidays and Saturdays, being too young to work in betting shops at the time. After work we went to the gigs together. My memory of the Frankie Vaughan contest was that the Four Pennies had to withdraw as they brought out Juliet before the final and were considered to be "professional" but the contest was for non pro acts. (The worst was the guy doing Old Shep).

Back to school days, I was in the same class as Rod Mayall who went on to play keyboards for Ivans Meads. Great days, great memories. Another coincidence, Duncan (Bass guitar) had a younger brother, Stuart. Stuart, Rod Mayall and I sat on the back row in the same form at school.

David Lewis - 16/6/12

Is anyone still in touch with Brian Wrightson from The Bobbins?

Alex White - 5/8/13 

Hello this is Bob Theobald (Bobby Laine)

What a pleasant surprise to find this web page, it brought back many happy memories. Where did all those years go? So sorry to hear that Alan Forbes passed away he was a real nice guy.

I was lucky enough to meet up with Jim about 6 years ago and we had a very enjoyable nostalgic evening. I think he told me of this site but I have just got round to finding it.

I have attached some photos that I am sure you will enjoy.

Do you remember that Nigel Jackson went under the name of “Count Nigel de Trafford”

I always felt that Brian Higham who had a good voice and stage presence was a threat and could take my place, sorry Brian, he was a good member of the group.

Duncan Club went off to run the family coal business.

Don’t know what happened to Tim.

Nick Ireland used to be our Manager, (great bloke) I wonder what happened to him?

We all used to go to the Azad restaurant in Levenshulme for a curry after a booking. There would often be The Hollies, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and many more in there.

Last year I went to the Cavern in Liverpool. They have a wall there with the names of all the groups that played there and our name is on one.

After the Confederates we formed a group called “The Bobbins” but cant remember what happened to them. I have attached some photos you may find interesting.

I am now retired and living in the Lake District, but still doing a bit. I have teamed up with five great guys to make a group (The Elderly Brothers). We can still pack a hall singing some of the songs we sang all those years ago. I have attached a photo. I am the one in black.You will notice there is a distinct lack of the (quiff).

My best wishes to you all

Bob Theobald - 25/2/10

We got through to the final of the Franky Vaughan Talent contest in 1963 at the North Pier in Blackpool “The Four Pennies” came first and got a recording contract and recorded “Juliet”. We came second and the “Black Abbots” came third.

Dave Meyer contradicts this memory

"I was a guitarist with Liverpool band Denny Seyton and the Sabres and the final of the Frankie Vaughn talent contest at the North Pier, Blackpool 1963 was won by us with the Four Pennies[ then called the Lionel Morton 4] coming second.

We signed up with Paul Cave and got a recording contract with Phillips, later changing to Mercury records. I still have the trophy at home."


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